The Ministry of Health recommends that children consume water and unflavoured milk and eat fresh fruit. If juice is given to children, intake should be limited to one glass per day and it should be diluted at least 50:50 with water. Juice’s high sugar content and acidic nature can contribute to dental caries and tooth erosion, and excessive consumption increases the risk of obesity in older children and young people. In order to monitor trends and patterns in the consumption of beverages and foods, HPA collects data on what families eat and drink in the Health and Lifestyles Survey (HLS). Findings from the 2012 HLS are reported in this fact sheet.
Parents and caregivers were asked how often they drink fruit juice as well as juice from concentrate, powder, or cordials. They were also asked how often their child consumes these beverages. Reported frequencies include drinks consumed both at home and away from home. The eight response options are: never; less than once a month; 1 to 3 times a month; 1 to 2 days a week; 3 to 4 days a week; 5 to 6 days a week; once a day; twice a day or more often. These responses are grouped into five categories to report on overall prevalence: less than one day a week; 1 to 2 days a week; 3 to 4 days a week; 5 to 6 days a week; once a day or more often.
Further analyses investigate if there are differences in juice consumption by gender, ethnicity, age, neighbourhood deprivation status, and parents/caregivers’ education levels. For these analyses, consumption is grouped by consumed three or more days per week or consumed less than three days per week. These response groupings are in accordance with MOH reporting of beverage consumption (University of Otago and Ministry of Health, 2011).
Statistically significant differences (p < .05) are reported.
- Just over 1 in 10 children drink fruit juice (12.2%) and juice from concentrate, powder, or cordials (15.6%) every day or more often.
- Children who consume juice beverages three or more days a week are much more likely to have a parent/caregiver who consumes them three or more days a week compared with having a parent/caregiver whose consumption is less frequent.
- Asian children are more likely to drink fruit juice three or more days a week (44.8%), compared with Pacific children (21.8%).
- Children living in the middle decile neighbourhoods are more likely to drink fruit juice three or more days a week (39.4%), compared with children in the low (24.5%) or high (25.7%) deciles.
- Māori children are more likely to drink juice from concentrate, powder, or cordials three or more days a week (41.0%), compared with Asian (12.7%) or European/Other ethnicity children (21.7%).
- Children whose parents have lower educational attainment are more likely to drink juice from concentrate, powder, or cordials three or more days a week, compared with those whose parents have a trade/professional/university diploma or higher education level.